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Iceland Mag

Economy

Young Hungarian woman, victim of wage theft at South Iceland farm, receives assistance by labour union

By Staff

  • Stiffed thousands of dollars Zsofia Sidlovits, a 20 year old Hungarian woman who came to Iceland in June 2015 worked 10-12 hour workdays at a farm in South Iceland called Fjall I, near the town of Selfoss, but was paid only a fraction of what she should have been paid. Photo/Pjetur

Zsofia Sidlovits, a Hungarian woman who was the victim of wage theft while working at a farm in South Iceland will receive the assistance of the labour union Báran in recovering the pay she should have received for her work during the months she spent at the farm. A union representative told the local newspaper Fréttablaðið that the woman had been approached by Union officials yesterday after she came forward with her story. The union will now collect necessary documentation and evidence to help the woman get paid what she is due.

Read more: Young Hungarian woman came to Iceland to earn a little money, found herself victim of wage theft

Yesterday the local newspaper Fréttablaðið published an interview with the woman where she described how she had worked 10-12 hour workdays for months on end, without ever receiving a formal contract or adequate pay. Fréttablaðið calculated that the young woman had been stiffed at least 1,000 USD each month by her employers.

Condtions could be categorized as slavery
Zsofia said in the interview with Fréttablaðið that her employers had been likeable people and that she had not been mistreated in any other manner, that she had liked the farm and that she missed the animals and children she took care of. However, she hoped telling her story would help ensure others would not end up in the same situation she found herself in, where she wasn’t getting paid for the work she was putting in. The story certainly caused the representatives of the labour union Báran to look into the matter.

Halldóra Sveinsdóttir, the chairman of the Union Báran told Fréttablaðið that the union would not only be looking into the pay Zsofia is owed, but other potential violations of Icelandic labour law by her former employers. “She doesn’t have a contract with her employer. She has no rights, no insurance and she is isolated. She was dependent upon the employer when it came to housing and there is the question of access to health care. This matter needs to be investigated, and it could be categorized as slavery.”

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